Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2 is to participate in a transatlantic race against the world’s fastest yachts.
The race next summer will mark the centenary of the first US servicemen landing in France during World War One.
It will start in Saint-Nazaire at the mouth of the Loire where the US 1st Infantry Division, known as the Big Red One, landed in June 1917, and will end in New York about five days later.
The 3,000-mile sprint is being billed as the ultimate showdown between power and sail.
Queen Mary 2 will leave Saint-Nazaire on June 24 – 100 years to the day after the first US troops landed.
The ship will carry 2,705 passengers at a speed of 22-30 knots (25-35 mph).
The trimarans are among the world’s fastest sailing vessels, including the carbon-fibre Spindrift which holds the record for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the globe, completing the 29,000 miles in 45 days, 13 hours and 43 minutes in 2011.
Cunard senior vice president Simon Palethorpe told The Times: “Queen Mary 2 is the fastest passenger ship afloat and was built in Saint-Nazaire so it is fitting she plays such a key role in next year’s commemoration.”
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